Besides healthcare workers and police personnel who are working tirelessly to help people in the time of the COVID 19 pandemic, delivery agents too are playing a key role in ensuring that people get their food and other essentials delivered to their doorstep.
Anand Gowda, a food delivery personnel who works with Zomato said that he has been working for nearly 15 hours a day. He said that the number of orders has declined only marginally. I used to deliver 25 orders earlier. Now on an average I am getting 21 orders a day, he said. The B.Com graduate who used to work in a car showroom decided to switch to this job as it had promised to get him a salary of 13,000.
On Sunday, he started work at 1 p.m. but could not eat anything till 7 p.m. My family is concerned about my safety and does not want me to do this job. But if I need to earn a meal for my family, then I need to work, he said.
While customers opt for contactless delivery and ask them to deliver the food at their doorstep so that they dont come in contact with him, he says he comes in contact with several people including many at restaurants. While some restaurants have sanitisers for delivery boys, this is not available at many places.
Another delivery person who works with Dunzo said the company has provided them with a mask and sanitizer and has advised them to use it regularly. I make sure I only do limited deliveries enough to earn two meals for my family. After that I log off, and go home, he said. However, many of his colleagues have gone back to their villages as they did not want to take the risk.
What irks many delivery personnel is that people continue to buy even non-essential items. We are happy to help people in times of a crisis like this. But we still get orders from people ordering one juice or one dessert. We hope that people will stick to basics at least during this time, said another delivery agent working with Swiggy. He admits that customers however have been generous while tipping. Several customers give us masks, a meal or essential items for our households.